A micro controller is an integrated circuit or a chip with a processor and other support devices like program memory, data memory, I/O ports, serial communication interface etc integrated together. Unlike a microprocessor (ex: Intel 8085), a microcontroller does not require any external interfacing of support devices. Intel 8051 is the most popular microcontroller ever produced in the world market. Now let’s talk about 8051 microcontroller in detail.
Before going further, it will be interesting for you to understand the difference between a Microprocessor and Microcontroller. We have a detailed article which describes the basic difference between both.
Intel first produced a microcontroller in 1976 under the name MCS-48, which was an 8 bit microcontroller. Later in 1980 they released a further improved version (which is also 8 bit), under the name MCS-51. The most popular microcontroller 8051 belongs to the MCS-51 family of microcontrollers by Intel. Following the success of 8051, many other semiconductor manufacturers released microcontrollers under their own brand name but using the MCS-51 core. Global companies and giants in semiconductor industry like Microchip, Zilog, Atmel, Philips, and Siemens released products under their brand name. The specialty was that all these devices could be programmed using the same MCS-51 instruction sets. They basically differed in support device configurations like improved memory, presence of an ADC or DAC etc. Intel then released its first 16 bit microcontroller in 1982, under name MCS-96
2. 8051 Microcontroller Packaging
There is no need of explaining what each package means, you already know it. So I will skim through mainly used packaging for 8051. See, availability of various packages change from device to device. The most commonly used is Dual Inline Package (40 pins) – known popularly as DIP. 8051 is also available in QFP (Quad Flat Package), TQFP (Thin Quad Flat Package), PQFP (Plastic Quad Flat Package) etc. For explaining the pin diagram, we have used a 40 pin DIP IC as model.
3. 8051 Microcontroller Architecture
It’s possible to explain microcontroller architecture to a great detail, but we are limiting scope of this article to internal architecture, pin configuration, program memory and data memory organization. The basic architecture remains same for the MCS-51 family. In general all microcontrollers in MCS- 51 family are represented by XX51, where XX can take values like 80, 89 etc.